• Natalie and El Hadji Diongue

Fulla and Fayda: a Beautiful Balance

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

“Fulla” - to be bold and “Fayda” - to be humble; as they say, opposites attract. Adja, a Senegalese model and influencer (@blackbeautysn) featured here, grew up with the values of Fulla and Fayda, always finding the right balance and incorporating it into everyday life. The Dakar native resides not far from downtown featured in the photos, and also the home to the “Palais Présidentiel” (Presidential Palace), the famous “Place de l’independence” (Independence Square), and many narrow one way streets where you can find everything from a high end “boutiques” (shops) featuring perfumes and soaps, to corner stores with your every need.

Downtown Dakar is also home to the famous “Sandaga Market,” one of the largest fabric and artisan craft markets in Senegal. It’s here that we find some of our inspiration for our designs, weaving in and out of the market stalls mesmerized over the bright colored fabrics and eclectic patterns. It’s always good to have your bargaining game ready, surprising the stall or shop owners with Wolof (the majority local language in Senegal) where you’re sure to get the best price. With all of the variety and endless shops, it’s easy to find the perfect fabric combination for our handmade leather bags. As you can see featured in the photos with Adja, a leather and fabric match made in heaven.

On the other end of downtown, past Independence Place, you’ll find tucked between a bustling indoor vegetable market and artisanal crafts display, the “Malian” market, featuring the best of and latest fabrics from Mali. Among the latest trends, the bogolan “Malian mud cloth” which can be found paired with sleek leathers in our latest line.

Dakar has an array of traditional handicraft, fabric, and artisanal markets, although you’ll see mixed into the city a plethora of street markets selling secondhand and “chinese” or “original” items - everything from bags, shoes, and accessories. Whatever it is you’re looking for in Dakar, you’ll be sure to find it somewhere.

When it comes to Fulla & Fayda bags, we seek out the best quality fabrics and locally sourced goat’s skin leather that comes from Senegalese herders in the Thies region. Once the fabric is purchased, we hand it over to our artisans in Thies, where they’ll hand-sew the fabric and cloth into the leather, and attach zippers and add small loving details to make a unique bag that can never be exactly replicated.

The process of creating our bags is never identical, but always an exciting and bright adventure. Dakar is a melting pot of fashion and art, local tradition and crafts, and is sure to entice anyone to explore, native or foreign, its vibrant neighborhoods, markets and shops, restaurants and beaches, and all of its creative hidden gems.

Photography: SIDY BA |

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